Dengue fever

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Dengue fever (UK: /ˈdɛŋɡeɪ/, US: /ˈdɛŋɡiː/), also known as breakbone fever, is an acute febrile infectious disease caused by the dengue virus. Typical symptoms include headache, a petechial rash, and muscle and joint pains; in a small proportion the disease progresses to life-threatening complications such as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.

Dengue is usually transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and rarely Aedes albopictus. The virus has four different serotypes, and an infection with one usually gives lifelong immunity to it but only short-term immunity to the others. There is currently no available vaccine, but outbreaks can be prevented by reducing the habitat and number of mosquitoes, and limiting exposure to bites.

Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease and blood transfusions for more severe cases. Rates of infection have increased dramatically over the last 50 years with approximate 50–100 million people being infected yearly. The disease has become global and is currently endemic in more than 110 countries with 2.5 billion people living in areas where it is prevalent.

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